Bowls: Olveston duo help Gloucestershire to Middleton Cup victory

Gazette Series: Oxfordshire players (blue) and Gloucestershire's Roger Bird (Tetbury) John Smallwood and Paul Bryant (both Olveston) indicating the number one bowl from John Roach (Cheltenham) Oxfordshire players (blue) and Gloucestershire's Roger Bird (Tetbury) John Smallwood and Paul Bryant (both Olveston) indicating the number one bowl from John Roach (Cheltenham)

Middleton Cup Trial

Gloucestershire 139 Oxfordshire 101

GLOUCESTERSHIRE put in an impressive performance to win three rinks against Oxfordshire with one rink drawn and two losses at Barnwood BC.

The highest winning rink was that of John Smallwood (Olveston), Roger Bird (Tetbury), John Roach (Cheltenham) and Paul Bryant (Olveston), who romped into a 15-2 lead over Alan Prew and never looked back.

Leading 24-3 after 14 ends, they picked up two fours and a three to cruise home 36-15.

Keith Hinder (Dursley), Eddie Kavanagh (Tewkesbury), Dave Howes (Stroud) and Mike Woodbridge also put in a good performance against Calvin Carpenter when they jumped into a 10-0 lead after just four ends.

They were 15-4 ahead at halfway, and then bagged a quartet of twos and a three to run out 28-11 winners.

Nathan Kitchen (Cheltenham), Mike Prosser (Gloucester Spa), Steve Knight and Matt Cuthbert (both Cheltenham) came from 12-7 down to grab a six on the 13th end to take control.

A run of five winning ends that included a four saw them pull away and in the end win 26-20.

Nick Holliday (Cheltenham), Pete Stinchcombe (Tetbury), Mark Perry and Stuart Hodges (both Cheltenham) had to dig deep against Mark Sykes, finding themselves 11-7 and 15-10 down before grabbing two threes to lead.

One down going into the last end, they gained the shot to finish all square at 19-19.

Paul Nelmes (Cheltenham), Rich Browett (Barnwood), Chris Roach (Cheltenham) and Chris Davies (Coleford) seized the early advantage, taking an 11-6 lead after 10 ends.

All square at 13-13 by the 16th end, they also went into the last end on equal terms only to end up losing the shot to go down 18-17.

Adam Smith (Dowty), Jack Daniels (Bishops Cleeve), Andy Locke (Henleaze) and Rob Griffiths (Cheltenham), up against Paul Sharman, were on the back foot when they trailed 12-5 after nine ends.

The gap opened wider as they dropped a four and a two to be 23-8 behind before finishing up 24-13 down.

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